NYC has the second lowest COVID test positivity in the state

New York City has the second lowest COVID test positivity rate of anywhere in New York state and Manhattan has the lowest rate among the five boroughs but restaurants remain closed and Cuomo is warning of a total shutdown in January which would cripple even more businesses. 

The statewide COVID test positivity rate is 5.1 percent but it varies enormously from 8.1 percent in the Finger Lakes to 4 percent in NYC.  Manhattan’s rate is 2.77 percent but Staten Island’s is 5.1 percent and the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens are all in between. 

Despite the huge variants, indoor dining in NYC was banned on Monday. A huge snow storm on Wednesday has also put an end to outdoor dining. Restaurant owners say it is the final nail in the coffin for the city. Indoor dining was banned from March 16 until September 30 – a total of 28 weeks. 

Outdoor dining was allowed to begin only half way through the summer, on June 22, but with strict rules. 

Only 0.02 percent of all the people in hospitals with COVID across the state are in NYC but it has the toughest restrictions in the state

Only 0.02 percent of all the people in hospitals with COVID across the state are in NYC but it has the toughest restrictions in the state

Only 0.02 percent of all the people in hospitals with COVID across the state are in NYC but it has the toughest restrictions in the state

The statewide COVID test positivity rate is 5.1 percent but it varies enormously from 8.1 percent in the Finger Lakes to 4 percent in NYC. Manhattan's rate is 2.77 percent but Staten Island's is 5.1 percent and the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens are all in between.

The statewide COVID test positivity rate is 5.1 percent but it varies enormously from 8.1 percent in the Finger Lakes to 4 percent in NYC. Manhattan's rate is 2.77 percent but Staten Island's is 5.1 percent and the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens are all in between.

The statewide COVID test positivity rate is 5.1 percent but it varies enormously from 8.1 percent in the Finger Lakes to 4 percent in NYC. Manhattan’s rate is 2.77 percent but Staten Island’s is 5.1 percent and the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens are all in between.

The restaurant and bar industry in New York City accounted for 325,000 jobs before March. That number dropped to 90,000 when indoor and outdoor dining were closed. 

Since they reopened, around 100,000 people have been hired back but the state’s decision last week to end indoor dining now, for at least two weeks, and close outdoor dining on Wednesday because of a looming snow storm has forced many to shut up entirely.

Many restaurant owners say they can no longer afford to pay stuff through the festive period on a take-out and delivery basis alone. 

Gov. Cuomo even admitted on Wednesday that New York City had one of the least severe problems.

‘NYC is actually one of the lowest percentages,’ he said. 

He went on to emphasize that within New York City , the problem varies even more. 

‘Within New York City, look at these variants. Staten Island is higher than Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx there’s no reason.

Photos from Tuesday's Times Square protest where dozens demonstrated against the Governor's decision

Photos from Tuesday's Times Square protest where dozens demonstrated against the Governor's decision

Photos from Tuesday’s Times Square protest where dozens demonstrated against the Governor’s decision 

Dozens gathered in Times Square on Tuesday to protest against the governor's decision

Dozens gathered in Times Square on Tuesday to protest against the governor's decision

Dozens gathered in Times Square on Tuesday to protest against the governor’s decision 

Among people who railed against the Governor's decision are some of the Real Housewives of New York City

Among people who railed against the Governor's decision are some of the Real Housewives of New York City

Among people who railed against the Governor’s decision are some of the Real Housewives of New York City 

‘It’s it’s not as crowded, not as dense there’s no reason for that.’ 

On Tuesday, crowds gathered in Times Square to protest his ban on indoor dining. 

Last week, after the decision was first made, restaurant owners told DailyMail.com how it would put them out of business. 

Robert Mahon, who owns a group of restaurants including Toro Loco and Broadstone, called it a ‘disgrace’.

‘There is no scientific data in this decision making whatsoever,’ he said.  

He asked why Albany – where the infection rate is higher than 7 percent – can continue running indoor dining when Manhattan – where it’s less than 3 percent – can’t. 

Ash Deshmukh of Short Stories told DailyMail.com after Cuomo’s announcement on Friday: ‘We can’t survive on outdoor and take out alone.

The cover of New York Magazine on December 4 is dedicated to the hundreds of businesses - many of them restaurants - that have had to close

The cover of New York Magazine on December 4 is dedicated to the hundreds of businesses - many of them restaurants - that have had to close

The cover of New York Magazine on December 4 is dedicated to the hundreds of businesses – many of them restaurants – that have had to close 

‘This will be a 70 percent hit to revenue that was only just starting to build.

‘We have no relief from fixed costs and now no ability now to earn to pay them off.’ 

He said that they were equally concerned about rising COVID cases both for the sake of staff safety and customer safety, but that the decision put the industry ‘in a bad place’. 

Eddie Fraunces, who owns Fraunces Tavern and Lovelace Gin and Cocktail bar, said he’ll now have to lay off half of his remaining staff as a result of the decision.  

‘For us, we’ve made an adjustment to go online and sell merchandise. 

‘We’re going to try to remain open as much as possible but we’re going to have to lay off 50 percent of our staff.

‘I was procrastinating that until after Christmas. 

‘In March, we had over our two restaurants, 100 staff. Now, we have 45. That’s going to go down to about 20,’ he said. 

He echoed that the decision made no sense given Manhattan’s low rates.  

‘The reason they gave in the beginning was that it was due to population density but if that was the case our infection rate would be much higher. 

In Manhattan it’s 2.3 percent but on Long Island and in Westchester it’s higher, yet they are allowed to continue at a 25 percent capacity? It makes no sense. 

‘All the restaurants wanted to do was struggle through until the vaccine and we would have survived but now, at least 50 percent will have to close, especially with no PPP coming.I know a lot of my friends are saying that this is the nail in the coffin. 

‘If we received PPP from the federal government, I wouldn’t have to be going to my staff today and laying them off. 

‘We could keep them going until we got through the pandemic. This though is going to be insane. The number of people who will be applying for unemployment today… it’s going to be huge,’ he said. 

He added that he felt a responsibility to tell staff now that they’d lost their jobs rather than drag it out because unemployment checks took so long to go out in April. 

Link hienalouca.com

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